§ MR. ERNEST SPENCER (West Bromwich)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the recent serious crisis in the City, and the continual annual strain put upon business by the decrease in the Bank reserve, and constant scarcity of gold, the Government will now consider the advisability of introducing a short Bill to amend the Bank Act of 1844 by the issue of £1 notes against silver, or Consols, or otherwise, in order that it may be in keeping with the present time, and the expansion of business which has taken place since the Act was passed?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
I am not prepared at the present moment to make any declaration of policy as regards the Bank Charter Act, nor am I prepared to admit the second part of my hon. Friend's question as a necessary corollary to the first.
§ MR. LEA (Londonderry, S.)
I have also to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Government intend to appoint a Royal Commission to inquire into the whole question of the working of the Bank Act of 1844; if so, when such Royal Commission will be appointed?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
No, Sir; we have no such intention. If at any time it should appear to Her Majesty's Government that the arrangements made in 1844 should be altered in any particulars, they would prefer to deal with the matter on their own initiative and responsibility rather than to relegate the matter to a Royal Commission.